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The Deployment and Market Transformation at NREL newsletter highlights NREL deployment and market transformation activities and milestones from the previous three months. The newsletter features selected project and programs updates, NREL-developed models and tools, and our latest publications. You can subscribe to receive the newsletter quarterly by email.

November 2012 Newsletter

Deployment and market transformation activities at NREL span the lab's full range of programs and technologies across the energy efficiency and renewable energy spectrum. In this issue, we feature the following:

Issue Spotlight

NREL Empowers Federal Agencies to Reach National Energy Goals

NREL actively supports agencies and organizations across the federal government to help the U.S. reach its national energy goals. These interagency agreements allow NREL to replicate U.S. Energy Department programs and projects for the greater national good.

This issue covers several interagency projects and publications, including:


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Project and Program Updates

Models and Tools

Recent Publications

Project and Program Updates

New Wind for Schools Installations Announced in Kansas and Pennsylvania

The DOE Wind Powering America initiative announced two new Wind for Schools Project installations in August 2012; one in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania.

Flint Hill Technical College in Emporia, Kansas, constructed a wind turbine on the site of a small, student-built building with architectural help from Kansas State University. The building is designed as a near-zero-energy classroom and living space. The turbine will also generate energy for Emporia High School, which is located across the street.

The Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Project, coordinated by Penn State University, celebrated its first wind turbine installation at Northwestern Area School District in Albion, Pennsylvania. Teachers at the school plan to use data from the turbine as part of in-class curriculum and activities. The Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Project team also recently selected three new host schools from its 2012 applications.

NREL provides ongoing technical and project development support to both Wind Powering America and its Wind for Schools Project. Learn more about NREL's wind research and deployment capabilities.

Broadcasting the Facts about Deploying Wind Energy

Photo of a person standing below an array of small wind turbines.

Energy Execs participant Mark Dow checks out the wind turbines at the John Deere dealership in Greensburg, Kansas.

Despite wind generation being on the rise across rural America, numerous myths and misperceptions remain about wind energy. NREL and the DOE Wind Powering America initiative are educating the nation on the facts about wind energy deployment through a series of radio interviews featuring local testimonials and expert commentary.

Rural stakeholders, such as farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and local government officials, can tune in and hear, for example, the owner of an inn in Greensburg, Kansas, talking about his decision to install a wind turbine on his property and how it saved him about $25,000 a year in electricity costs.

The interviews are aired on rural radio stations through the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) and then made available as podcasts on the Wind Powering America website. A total of 57 podcasts have been produced since July 2007.

The podcasts can be downloaded from the Wind Powering America Agricultural Podcasts website and the NAFB member website.

NREL Energy Security Model Informs DOD Investments and Exposes Vulnerabilities

In support of the Department of Defense (DOD), NREL researchers developed a method to place a value on non-energy savings from energy security projects. Being able to identify and value ancillary savings from energy security projects will bring more clarity to investment decisions in addition to other benefits.

The method consists of (1) completing a site survey to collect data on two hypothetical outage scenarios to compute costs of interrupted power; (2) characterizing the reliability of the commercial power supply; and (3) estimating the value of electrical energy security. This value, known as VEES, is a metric that characterizes the annual cost of utility outages. The avoided cost of commercial power outages can be used to increase the return on investment of energy security projects.

Energy security valuation has several benefits. For example, it helps to justify project financing and to compare the relative benefits of several projects. Additionally, the process of conducting a site survey and establishing the necessary assumptions can expose critical vulnerabilities at installations before an outage happens.

Find out more in the NREL report, Valuing Energy Security: Customer Damage Function Methodology and Case Studies at DOD Installations, by Julieta Giraldez, Katherine Anderson, Sam Booth, and Kim Massey.

NREL Experts Assist U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain, with Renewable Energy Opportunities

NREL technical experts Robi Robichaud and Mike Callahan recently accompanied Rich Spiessl of the Naval Facilities Engineering Services Center to U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain, to assess renewable energy deployment opportunities.

Spain is an important U.S. ally for projecting military power into the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. Situated on a 6,100—acre Spanish Navy base, the U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain, provides cargo, fuel, and logistics support to units across the region. The visit, conducted in July, supported the U.S. Navy's Net Zero Energy Initiative by conducting preliminary groundwork for evaluating the potential for wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), and biomass energy to help the base meet its energy security goals.

NREL provides ongoing assistance to U.S. military facilities in reducing energy costs, reducing reliance on foreign oil, and ensuring energy security. Learn more about NREL's support of Department of Defense energy goals.

NREL Energy Assessment Teams Share Expertise at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Photo of man standing next to building system machinery.

NREL engineer Jesse Dean demonstrates the ins and outs of energy assessments at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

An NREL energy assessment team recently shared its energy-saving expertise at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. At the invitation of Coast Guard Capt. John Hickey in Shore Maintenance Command, and with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Energy Program, NREL engineers Jesse Dean, Rachel Romero, and Otto VanGeet conducted an extensive four-day, hands-on class for facilities staff responsible for keeping Coast Guard buildings operating at top efficiency.

The energy assessment training focused on basic energy efficiency practices, explaining the benefits of these practices as well as the advantages of routine audits to maintain optimum efficiencies. Each session consisted of morning lectures and afternoon walk-through assessments of facilities to demonstrate practical applications. Session topics included energy management, lighting, water conservation, plug loads, building envelopes, motors, renewable energy, economic analysis, and more.

NREL offers energy assessment training through various avenues, including interagency agreements with federal agencies and special trainings sponsored by DOE. For more information, contact Jesse Dean.

NREL Technical Assistance Spurs Interest in Tribal Clean Energy Projects

NREL work with the DOE Office of Indian Energy (DOE-IE) advances next-generation energy development in Indian Country through on-site technical assistance designed to move renewable energy and energy efficiency projects forward. In August, NREL and DOE-IE reached out to Native American Tribes at large public conferences and tribal community events, including:

  • Tohono O'odham Nation Tribal Council Meeting: NREL Senior Project Leader Liz Doris accompanied DOE-IE Deputy Director Pilar Thomas to the Tohono O'odham Nation Tribal Council meeting. Doris presented on the essentials of renewable energy project development and finance. The presentation is part of a series of educational courses that NREL is developing for DOE-IE that provides a framework for renewable energy project development and financing. The courses are designed to help Native American Tribes set and manage project development expectations and identify information and decision points needed to effectively move projects forward.

  • Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Conference: NREL Project Leader Alex Dane and Senior Engineer Joe Simon, along with Deputy Director Thomas, successfully demonstrated the wide range of Indian energy resources available from DOE and NREL, ranging from project technical assistance to in-depth research and background information. Several tribal facility operators, tribal leaders, and building design firms expressed interest in working with their communities to improve their facilities or consider energy efficiency upgrades in the future. Simon also represented NREL with a presentation on energy efficiency, operations and maintenance, and leadership stewardship.

Learn more about DOE-IE by reading its newsletter or visiting its website, both of which are developed and updated by NREL.

Clean Cities Shares Best Practices for Transportation Deployment

The DOE Clean Cities program held a 2012 Peer Exchange and Vehicle Technology Deployment Workshop to provide the program's nearly 100 coordinators an opportunity to share best practices for transportation deployment projects, learn new skills, receive program and technology updates, and discuss strategies for overcoming market barriers and recruiting new stakeholders. The workshop was held in Estes Park, Colorado, in late September.

NREL staff helped to organize the event and led several sessions, including a briefing on natural gas fueling infrastructure and a training session on ways to improve individual coalition websites. Representatives from DOE, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory also provided perspectives on energy-efficient transportation options and effective deployment tactics.

Learn more about NREL's fuel and vehicle deployment efforts.

NREL and DOE Partner to Train Federal Fleet Managers at FedFleet 2012

Over the summer, NREL subject matter experts partnered with DOE's Federal Energy Management Program, and Clean Cities program to train and engage federal fleet managers from across the country at FedFleet 2012. Training sessions focused on alternative fuels, advanced vehicle technologies, and sustainability with topics ranging from regulatory overviews to optimizing vehicle acquisition strategies to impacting driver behavior.

NREL RSF A Wing Expansion Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

The Research Support Facility (RSF) A Wing expansion project on the NREL sustainable campus received national recognition with a prestigious LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC).

The project earned a total of 92 points under the newest version of the USGBC's LEED for New Construction rating system. To achieve LEED Platinum, at least 80 points are needed, with 110 points being the maximum. According to USGBC's Certified Project database, only two projects in the world have scored higher than the RSF expansion, and one project has tied it. All three of these facilities are much smaller than the RSF A Wing.

As the centerpiece of the laboratory's sustainable campus, the RSF showcases NREL's vast renewable energy and energy efficiency expertise, garnering numerous national accolades and honors. NREL technical experts helped design the facility, leveraging in-depth energy modeling and analysis to meet an energy goal of 35 kBtu per square foot per year.

Learn more about the Research Support Facility and NREL's sustainable campus.

NREL Parking Garage Showcases Energy Innovation in Action

Photo of construction workers installing photovoltaic panels on the side of a building.

Installers attached photovoltaics to the south face of the NREL parking garage. The solar panels help offset energy used by 36 electric vehicle charging stations.

Leading the way to a clean energy future means making the most of every opportunity for energy innovation. One look at NREL's new parking garage shows how the laboratory embodies this leadership attribute.

Parking garages are typically viewed as utilitarian facilities, offering parking for employees and visitors. However, parking garages are campus facilities that consume energy and can potentially contribute to energy goals. A typical parking garage consumes 15% of the energy that the building it is designed to support uses. While 15% seems small, NREL views that 15% as an opportunity for improvement. For every watt saved in the building, $33 less needs to be spent on PV to offset that energy use.

NREL worked with RNL and Haselden Construction to design an efficient yet aesthetically pleasing parking garage. The facility leverages innovations in PV, daylighting, efficient LED lighting, and lighting automation and occupancy sensor technologies. In addition, 36 charging stations are available for electric and plug-in hybrid government fleet and research vehicles, and will eventually support research activities at the new Energy Systems Integration Facility.

Learn more about NREL technical expertise and assistance, as well as the laboratory's sustainable campus.

Models and Tools

Alternative Fuels Data Center Delivers Information for Transportation Decision Makers

The redesigned Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is the go-to source for transportation decision makers. It provides a vast collection of information, data, and tools that facilitate the deployment of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel economy improvements.

Developed and administered by NREL, the AFDC is known for providing alternative fueling station data. The Alternative Fueling Station Locator helps vehicle drivers and fleet managers find fueling stations for their alternative fuel vehicles. This application offers station locations for electric vehicle charging, E85, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, and hydrogen. Users can sort by fuel, find all stations near a given location, and map routes with stations identified along the way.

The AFDC also provides widgets, data services, and an embeddable version of the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to help Web developers share and build upon the AFDC's alternative transportation information.

Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool Helps Cut Harmful Emissions

The NREL-developed Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool helps vehicle fleets create plans to reduce petroleum consumption and resulting emissions. The tool quantifies energy and environmental benefits associated with a transition to alternative fuels like biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, natural gas, or propane. The tool also calculates the benefits of efficiency measures like idle reduction and fuel economy improvements.

Tool users create "what-if" scenarios. For example, what if 10 conventional sedans are replaced with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or if B20 biodiesel is used in heavy-duty trucks? Charts and tables display annual reductions in emissions, petroleum use, and fuel costs for each scenario.

NREL developed the tool for DOE's Alternative Fuel Transportation Program and Alternative Fuels Data Center.

State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleet Compliance Tool Supports U.S. Clean Energy Goals

The DOE State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleet Compliance Tool helps state government and alternative fuel provider fleets generate and submit annual reports in compliance with Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 requirements. Under EPAct 1992, these fleets must either acquire alternative fuel vehicles as a percentage of their annual light-duty vehicle acquisitions or reduce their petroleum use. NREL manages the database-driven tool and helps DOE with its transportation regulatory activities to reduce U.S. petroleum consumption and build a core market for alternative fuel vehicles.

Recent Publications

Thumbnail image of the Navajo Generating Station and Clean-Energy Alternatives: Options for Renewables report cover.

Navajo Generating Station and Clean-Energy Alternatives: Options for Renewables

This NREL study for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) examines several clean energy alternatives at the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. DOI is identifying the likely impacts of best available retrofit technology compliance options under the Clean Air Act's regional haze provisions.


Strategic Sequencing for State Distributed PV Policies: A Quantitative Analysis of Policy Impacts and Interactions

State and local policymakers show increasing interest in spurring the development of customer-sited distributed generation (DG), in particular solar photovoltaic (PV) markets. Prompted by that interest, this analysis examines the use of state policy as a tool to support the development of a robust private investment market.


Thumbnail image of the Design and Evaluation of a Net Zero Energy Low-Income Residential Housing Development in Lafayette, Colorado report cover.

Design and Evaluation of a Net Zero Energy Low-Income Residential Housing Development in Lafayette, Colorado

This NREL report outlines lessons learned and sub-metered energy performance of an ultra-low-energy single-family ranch home and duplex unit called the Paradigm Pilot Project and presents the final design recommendations for a 153-unit net zero energy residential development called the Josephine Commons Project.

High Penetration of Renewable Energy in the Transportation Sector: Scenarios, Barriers, and Enablers

This NREL paper, presented at the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum, analyzes specific issues and associated key questions to strengthen the existing knowledge base and help cultivate partnerships among federal agencies, state and local governments, and industry.

Read past issues of Deployment and Market Transformation at NREL.